Public pension assets declined more than $726 billion for state and local public employee retirement systems in 2009, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The "2009 State and Local Public Employee Retirement Systems Survey" looks at the financial activity and membership information of the nation's state and local public employee retirement systems, including revenue, expenditures, investment holdings and number of retirement systems.

According to the report, investment losses totaled $633.4 billion in 2009, nearly $600 billion more than in 2008 when losses totaled $38.9 billion. Employee contributions increased 7 percent to $39.5 billion in 2009 and government contributions increased 4.5 percent to $86.1 billion, with local government contributions increasing 10 percent, offsetting a 2.6 percent decline in state government contributions.

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